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Erect-Crested Penguin
Similar Birds:
 Fiordland Penguin
 Rockhopper Penguin
 Royal Penguin
 Snares Penguin
 Macaroni Penguin

Erect-Crested Penguin Range Map (New Zealand)
Erect-Crested Penguin Range Map (New Zealand)

Latin Name Eudyptes sclateri
Conservation Status Endangered
Location New Zealand
Colour Black & White
Height 65 - 70 cm (25.5 - 27 inches)
Weight 3 - 5 Kgs (6.5 - 11 lbs)
Life Expectancy -

Main Characteristics

Erect-Crested Penguins are elusive birds and little is known about the species. They are between 65 and 70 cms (25.5 - 27 inches) in height and they weigh between 3 and 5 kgs (6.5 - 11 lbs).

They are black in colour on their back and white on their front. They have a yellow stripe that runs from the base of their beak, over their eye and ends in a flourish of feathers. Unlike other crested penguins they are able to raise and lower their stiff crest feathers. Their beak is long, slim and orange/brown in colour and they have brown coloured eyes.


Erect-Crested Penguins spend the winter months in sub antarctic waters but they come ashore to breed on Antipodes, Bounty, Auckland and Campbell Islands off the south coast of New Zealand.


Erect-Crested Penguins feed upon fish and krill.


Erect-Crested Penguins breed in large colonies and competition can be fierce for a good nesting site. Males return to land in September and females follow two weeks later. A simple nest is constructed and lined with stones, mud or vegetation if it is available.

The female will lay two eggs but the first one rarely hatches. Incubation is shared by both parents and after 35 days the chick hatches. Both parents care for the chick and it is ready to go to sea during January or February. Adults return to sea after they have moulted in March.


Predators of Erect-Crested Penguins include brown skuas and seals.


There are no subspecies of the Erect-crested Penguin.

Interesting Facts

Erect-Crested Penguins are members of the crested penguin group which also includes the:
Royal Penguin
Macaroni Penguin
Snares Penguin
Fiordland Penguin
Rockhopper Penguin

The population of Erect-Crested Penguins is approximately 165,000 pairs.

The Erect-Crested Penguin is named after the English zoologist Philip Lutley Sclater.

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